Ground Control’s cuisine reflects the cosmopolitan lifestyle of its owner, Sean, who offsets his nightly bartending with daily travels as a professional pilot. He and his wife, Tara, have also lived abroad, a sojourn that developed their taste for European dining. Now settled in Arizona, executive chef Chris Ibarra still satisfies their cravings—and those of their patrons—with scoops of house-made gelato atop stuffed crepes, short ribs braised in Guinness, and custom wood-fired pizzas crowned in ingredients such as roma tomatoes, duck, and gouda. Open for three meals a day, the eatery also anoints glasses with exotic ingredients by serving rich espresso drinks, creative cocktails, and sippy cups of water from the Fountain of Youth. Live music fills the space every Friday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The nationally acclaimed pizzasmiths at Papa John's hand-toss dough in preparation for a miscellany of fresh meat, locally sourced veggies, and all-natural sauce. The menu sets out more than 15 toppings ($1–$1.50), such as pepperoni, black olives, and jalapeños, which adorn four sizes of original thin pizza ($7+) bedecked with fresh tomato sauce and cheese that unites the diverse ingredients much as a squabbling family is united by a love for pizza. Preselected topping combos ($11–$18) save stomachs from indecision; The Works proffers three types of meat, three vegetables, and olives, and the hawaiian barbecue chicken calls for a truce in the eternal fruit-veggie food fight with the addition of pineapple.
Live musical acts put the “tempo” in Tempo Urban Bistro and Coffee. On Saturday nights, the strum of a guitar or folks singing fills the bistro as guests enjoy such specialties as lobster mac 'n' cheese, beef short rib sliders, and jalapeno cornbread waffles with chicken. The bistro is decorated with framed artwork on the walls and vintage aluminum lights hang from the exposed ductwork ceiling. The coffee bar area, meanwhile, churns outs lattes, cappuccinos, and fresh pastries.
In their youth, Paul Fratella and Anthony Guerriero met as coworkers at a restaurant. They discussed their hopes of someday opening an eatery of their own. But as time went on, they drifted apart in life. Fratella continued along in the restaurant business, working at locations in Utah, Indiana, and Florida. Guerriero went on to work in refrigeration, and eventually traveled to Spain to study international business. And then, nearly two decades after their first pipe-dream discussions, they reconnected. With Guerriero’s business savvy and Fratella’s experience opening restaurants, the two finally had the blueprint that would breathe life into Caballero Grill.
Southwestern flavors give an edge to the eatery's American grill fare. Chefs cook steaks, burgers, and chicken breasts on a kettle grill fueled with pecan wood, which imbues each dish with a unique smoky flavor. A ceviche bar allows diners to customize their own selection of marinated fresh fish, and Sunday brunch sets out popular entrées alongside a seafood bar rich with shrimp and mussels. And though Fratella and Guerriero carefully curate their entire menu, one dish in particular holds a special place in the owners’ hearts, according to AZCentral.com. Manny’s empanadas, named for their late friend Manuel De Jesus Cabrera, commemorate their lost comrade with a recipe given to them by Manuel’s mother.
Local art and regional flavors foster a sense of community at the two locations of Taps Signature Cuisine and Bar, prompting ABC 15 to describe the Litchfield Park restaurant as "a place where you can kick off your shoes, stay a while, and enjoy some local music." The chefs add distinctive southwestern flavors to dishes by occasionally incorporating anaheim chilies or chipotle-spiced condiments from the area's naturally occurring ketchup geysers. These piquant touches lend a welcome kick to certain recipes, whereas the rest of the upscale American menu—which includes grilled rib eyes, organic chicken breasts, and roasted fillets of salmon—embraces more classic flavors.
At Brothers Pizza Express, hand-tossed New York–style dough serves as the fresh foundation for pizzas and oven-baked calzones. Toppings such as pepperoni, jalapeños, black olives, and meatballs await to be peppered across each cheesy slice to create custom pies, and specialty pies eliminate tricky decision making with pretested combinations such as a margherita pizza loaded with tomatoes, basil, and parmesan cheese, and served in a salt-rimmed glass. Hot, hearty sandwiches pack savory slices of pastrami, steak, genoa salami, or ham and cheese between slices of baked focaccia or ciabatta bread, and hot wings can be procured in packs of 6–50 to cater to varying appetites and bib sizes.